Monday, October 22, 2012

A Daily Kos Diarist Comes Out Against Measure B: The Beginning Of A Pro-Porn Left Rebellion??

Considering that most of the organized opposition to Measure B has come from the angle of intrusive government intervention into private industry or private behavior, or the costs of the regulations on legal California businesses (aka the LA-based porn industry), it's probably not too surprising that the "No on Measure B" campaign has taken on a tinge of classical conservative political bent.

This is why this latest diary that appeared in the liberal icon online site The Daily Kos probably surprised many people as it surprised the hell out of me.  And I'm pretty much far to the Left of center politically myself.

Soren Sorensen is a regular Daily Kos diarist and a member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party State committee who is currently running to  become a delegate to the Minnesota brance of the Democratic National Committee. He blogs at DK under the handle "ImpeccableLiberalCredentials", and you wouldn't think that he would be even interested in an local county ordinance some 2,000 miles away.

Yet, somehow, Sorensen has been motivated to post three posts at Daily Kos sounding the clarion call for why Kossack progressives should join in on the opposition to Measure B.  His first post basically grafted the preexisting efforts of Steven St. Croix, Michael Whiteacre, and the work of the organization No On Government Waste in trying to raise the interests of reagular progressive readers.

His second post, on the other hand, managed to raise some eyebrows (especially those of AVN's Mark Kernes, who wrote an extensive analysis post at AVN.com) where he opined that the conservative slant of the No on B opposition would not be enough, in his words, to overcome the money advantage of AHF and the pro-condom mandate opposition, and that more progressive appeals would have to be made to the mostly liberal electorate of Los Angeles County. Quoting ILC:

It has been referred to as the Measure B - Safer Sex In the Adult Film Industry Act, condoms in porn, and government waste. Today a social media blitz by adult entertainers opposed to the measure could help define the measure, and in a pro-government, pro-tax, progressive universe, the campaign against Measure B needs a progressive frame for most voters.

Right now both pro- and anti- campaigns are speaking to Romney/Ryan voters, and the whole reason this cynical ballot measure is on the ballot, most likely, is to turn out social conservatives and change California politics by affecting down ballot races, if not to enable a freak GOP win statewide. Somehow, a well connected GOP press flack - James Lee - has ended up running the principle anti- measure campaign, and only right-wing, anti-government frames are being activated in this contest.

The time is now for sex positive, pro-free speech progressives to make the case for voting NO on Measure B. What can you contribute to today's social media blitz?
ILC has even charged that Lee's conservative entry has an ulterior motive: to keep conservative and right-wing forces in Los Angeles County active enough to vote in the November elections and boost the voting totals for LA County Republicans and conservatives in an otherwise liberal state.

Sorensen's charges that the NOOnB campaign is a bit too stretched towards conservative frames is reflected of concerns that had been raised by another NOOnB activist, AdultBizLaw.com's Michael Fattorosi, whom in an earlier post had beefed about the political history of  James Lee, the director of No On Government Waste and the chief spokesperson for the opposition. Lee had previously been on the staff of various right-wing organizations, and had worked as an aide to South Carolina US Senator Jim deMint.

Of course, the grand irony of all this is that Sorensen uses for much of his supposedly superior "progressive" framing linkage and YouTube videos from the NOOnB campaign, and particularly blog posts from The Real Porn Wikileaks site....whom is maintained by Sean Tompkins, whom is pretty darn conservative politically.

Thankfully, I do think that Lee and NOGW have done a sterling enough job of debunking the pro-Measure B propaganda that I'm willing to gloss over their conservative slant. But, Sorensen does raise some legitimate issues about how progressives have not been nearly as out in front in defending the rights of porn performers or the industry...and especially how much of the Left's discourse on porn is either indifferent, irrelevant, or somewhat dominated by the openly repressive and sex-negative viewpoints...mostly the radical antipornography feminists.

What's also becoming relevant is that there is much more diversity of political ideology in the adult entertainment field than what meets the casual eye. While most of the producers do tend to be more conservative (albeit more of the libertarian bent of conservatism), there are plenty of performers with more liberal or even progressive credentials...and more of them are coming out of their political shell. Of course, their political stances do take a back seat to their performances when the lights go on, but the notion that porn performers are reducible to either apolitical sluts more concerned with who they are banging or sucking at the moment or amoral wingnut perverts is steadily losing ground as social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook break down the barriers between performers and their fans.

We're probably not quite yet at the point where we will be seeing porn stars running for Congress (imagine a political debate between Jenna Jameson and Nina Hartley along the same template as the Presidential debates)....but the success (or failure) of the NOOnMeasureB campaign will certainly open up new avenues of support for performers to express more of their humanity than merely how best to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections.



Saturday, October 13, 2012

More Lying From The "Yes On Measure B" Crowd....And A Bit Of Slut-Shaming, Too (Or, We Are All Pornographers Now)

[This is a continuation of my last post on the scummy tactics of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and other proponents of Measure B, the proposed condoms-in-porn mandate. For background, read my previous post.]

The blog SmartVoter.org just posted at their site the full voter guide to the proposed Measure B ordinance up to vote in Los Angeles County, including all of the arguments and rebuttals by proponents and opponents. I've posted some of the statements previously, but here are, just for recording's sake, the statement in opposition to Measure B, as well as their rebuttal to the pro-B arguments.

First, their original argument (with signatories attached):

Measure B is a ridiculous waste of tax dollars.

It would throw hundreds of thousands of your tax dollars, every year, at an imaginary threat.
It would send government inspectors, at full salary and benefits, to adult film sets to ensure actors are not only wearing condoms but rubber gloves, goggles and lab coats. This is money we need for real public health threats.

Measure B's backers falsely claim a health threat in the adult film industry. Every single actor is tested at least monthly. In 8 years, not one has contracted HIV on a set anywhere in the U.S. In fact, by driving film productions underground where there is no testing and no industry regulations, actors would be less safe, not more. Moreover, the Department of Public Health warns that Measure B would expose the County to expensive lawsuits + wasting money needed for real public health risks.

While we are wasting tax dollars for no reason, we are also driving a vital source of jobs out of state. The adult film industry employs thousands of people out of L.A. County: not just actors, but lighting and sound engineers, caterers, craftspeople, etc. This is exactly what we do NOT need during this recession.

Measure B is a ridiculous waste of tax dollars, kills thousands of jobs, is unnecessary, and does nothing to protect public health.

Vote NO on Measure B.


STUART WALDMAN
President of VICA (Valley Industry and Commerce Assoc.)


DR. PETER MIAO
Infectious Disease Specialist


DIANE DUKE
CEO Free Speech Coalition


PAMELA J. BROWN, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics


RANDALL WEISSBUCH, MD
Physician
Of course, you will recognize Diane Duke of the Free Speech Coalition and Dr. Peter Miao of Cutting Edge Testing as part of the signatories.

And here's their rebuttal to pro-Measure B arguments:
Safe sex practices are a good idea. However, they shouldn't be forced on adult film actors. Our individual rights have been fading fast since the Patriot Act.

Do-gooders such as New York Mayor Bloomberg seek to create a nanny state where our behavior is increasingly regulated for our own good. Bloomberg decreed that people must buy soft drinks in small cups, because they could become obese if they bought larger sizes. Measure B declares that adult film actors would have to wear condoms during filming. This isn't much different than regulating the size of soda a person can buy. Do you like the idea of busybodies forcing people to do what is healthful for them? If not, vote NO.

Measure B would destroy the adult film industry in Los Angeles County, and it's quite a big industry here. Film producers tried using condoms during the HIV scare of the 1990s, and people refused to watch the movies. So will the producers just stop making these films? No. They will likely move to areas where they have the freedom to make the kinds of films they want to make, most likely to other counties or other states.

Measure B also creates an expensive government bureaucracy at the same time as budgets and services are being cut. Do we really want our tax dollars paying for government agents to go to movie sets and look at how sex acts are being performed? And would the film producers who get permits for their shoots now even bother in the future, if they are being faced with all these new regulations?

Whether you agree with the supporters of Measure B or not, it's a bad idea to impose their standards through force of law. They may regulate your business or your sex life the next time around. Vote NO on Measure B.


NANCY C. ZARDENETA
Chair, Libertarian Party of Los Angeles County


PAMELA J. BROWN, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics


RANDALL WEISSBUCH, M.D.
Physician


JOHN URIBE
Civil Liberties Attorney


TED BROWN
Small Business Owner
Note the reference there to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to ban the sale of large servings of soda pop, on the notion that such sales lead to obesity.  Never mind that all that would do is allow wealthier people to buy their soda in bulk to bypass the law, and that the enforcement would be selectively limited to poorer people, or that such a law would probably not reduce obesity nearly as much as, say, taxing soft drinks higher accross the board or even making healthier products more accessible to poorer folk.

Now, I may not personally agree with the libertarian slant of that argument, and would argue much more about how the proposed mandate would affect the right of the performer to choose for his/herself how to protect themselves.  But, I'm not an LA County citizen, nor am I getting paid for promoting the opposition.

But, that is a mere trivial beef of mine.  The response of the Measure B proponents, on the other hand, just isn't. Exhale and fine tune your BS sensory apparatuses before you go to the next paragraph.

Comparing drinking soda pop to the immediate risk of infection with a sexually transmitted disease on the job trivializes the threat facing porn performers. The current outbreak of syphilis in the porn industry is living proof that having sex in adult films without a condom is a clear and immediate threat to the health of these performers and our community.

It is widely accepted that when you are on the job you are afforded protection that you may or may not choose to exercise in your own home. If you wish to make home repairs without gloves or a hard hat that is your own business. When you get paid to perform a task, workplace health and safety rules apply. Porn is a legal industry. Performers are paid to perform and they are entitled to the same on the job protection that every other person enjoys.

Measure B makes clear that no public dollars will be spent to enforce condoms in porn. All of the costs will be carried by porn producers. Sex acts in your bedroom are a strictly private matter. When filming is done for money it is a public matter. Why should people or even animals that appear in Hollywood movies be protected and the young people who appear in porn be abused?

The fact that many porn producers break the law and film without permits is not a good reason to do nothing to protect any performers or our community from disease.

Vote Yes on B!

JEFFREY R. KLAUSNER, MD. MPH
Professor of Medicine, UCLA


RICHARD G. POLANCO
Senator Richard Polanco (Ret.)


PAULA TAVROW, Ph.D.
Director, UCLA Bixby Program on Population and Reproductive Health


MICHAEL WEINSTEIN
President, AIDS Healthcare Foundation


MARK ROY MCGRATH, MPH
Public Health Analyst, UCLA
Let us break this bit of hyperbolic bullshittery down, shall we??

1)  "Comparing drinking soda pop to the immediate risk of infection with a sexually transmitted disease on the job trivializes the threat facing porn performers."

Wait...you mean that only porn performers transmit sexually transmitted diseases and then spread them to the general population?? Just like only poor people gulping down Coke and Pepsi spread diabetes to the population at large?? Of course, Weinstein has no problem with the pandemic of obesity or diabetes (and the high content of soft drinks with high fructose corn syrup which does tend to lead to more sugar addiction than usual)...but why even go there in the first place??

And also....most studies show that the threat of STI's in porn is actually a bit less than the threat in the general population, mostly because the industry actually does test for most STI's, and because in general performers are actually more conscious of their private behavior and are willing to make proper safety procedures to protect themselves...and to properly treat themselves on the chance they do get infected. There are actually greater threats of STI transmissions from "down low" public street park encounters by closeted fundamentalists than there are from shooting porn...so why isn't the pro-B crowd going for mandating condoms in public parks or even churches??


2) The current outbreak of syphilis in the porn industry is living proof that having sex in adult films without a condom is a clear and immediate threat to the health of these performers and our community.

Actually, it's more like living proof that AHF and the condom mandate proponents are completely full of shit.

The original syphilis outbreak took place in Budapest, Hungary, last June/July, and at its peak claimed approximately 100 performers in Europe; but really didn't kick in so much in the US until Mr. Marcus revealed his story of contracting the infection in May, and attempting to cloak it away and alter his tests until he was revealed in September. Most of the infected performers have undergone the required treatment and are now back performing, and there have been no reports of infection since last month. Also, when it did cross over to the US, the most that could be found was that the LA County Department of Public Health had confirmed that they had 9 cases of performers whom had contracted syphilis and were being treated. Stangely enough, the Free Speech Coalition had confirmed only TWO infected performers (Mr. Marcus included), and they reported that the other confirmed case was from a condom-only gay performer.

There was a sizeable blowup within the industry about whether or not those who were not infected with syphilis would be forced to endure the penicillin antibiotic treatment, which does indeed pose some minor threats, or whether they would have to face a 60-90 day waiting period before testing using the popular RPR test. However, the FSC and their partners APHSS did discover an alternative test that required only a 14-day waiting period, and offered that as an alternative for those not wanting the antibiotic treatment.

But even with all that, surely Weinstein (or whomever penned that sentence out of their ass) probably are smart enough to Google that syphilis can be spread just as likely through sores in the mouth or face, and that condoms alone would not prevent the spread of that infection. In fact, how does he know that many of the infections in Europe weren't in shoots requiring condoms??

Oh. and there is also this inconvenient fact that syphilis has been able to thrive in the larger population of LA County without the need for porn performers...whether wrapped or not. To quote Michael Whiteacre in a comment to a post at AdultBizLaw.com:
Syphilis cases in California rose 18% from 2010 to 2011, according to new data released by the state Department of Public Health — the adult industry is not the cause of this rise, it is a victim of his massive failure of California’s public health institutions.
Of course, mandating condoms for everyone engaging in sex in real life, rather than just those performing in porn, wouldn't quite do the trick, wouldn't it??


3) It is widely accepted that when you are on the job you are afforded protection that you may or may not choose to exercise in your own home. If you wish to make home repairs without gloves or a hard hat that is your own business. When you get paid to perform a task, workplace health and safety rules apply. Porn is a legal industry. Performers are paid to perform and they are entitled to the same on the job protection that every other person enjoys.

That is one of the few unabashed truths in their "rebuttal"...and even that is twisted around beyond recognition. Of course, plumbers and home repair professionals do have strong workplace protections to deal with occupational hazards, and some of them have detailed procedures for especially hazardous work, such as asbestos-tainted material removal or other forms of hazardous waste. But, the regulations are closely related to and adjusted to the particular hazard they face, and they are crafted with the full input of the workers in mind.

Engaging in sex on screen is indeed performing, and while it is similar to the way that people engage in sex in their bedrooms in private, it is plenty different. When you engage in sex in private, you probably don't have a set of hot lights and a camera/film crew all up in your bra and panties, and a director yelling and screaming to change positions every 5 minutes so that they can get "the perfect shot"; or, if you happen to be the male talent, a director up your jock telling you to stay hard and keep your edge until HE says you can cut loose with your "money shot". No one is saying that there shouldn't be some sembulance of standards of safety when shooting a sex scene, or that there is no justification for health and safety standards.

The problem is, though, that porn, like any other form of creative art form, relies on putting out an enhancement fantasy of real sex...and most porn consumers/watchers have spoken loud and clear that they will NOT buy condomized sex. (Notice I said "most", not "all"; there may be a market for "safer sex" out there, but it is generally restricted.) Merely asserting an audience is out there or can be invented through government fiat simply doesn't make it so.

Besides that. Measure B gives no leeway to even homegrown cam sites or even private owners of home websites the option of not using condoms; it simply MANDATES that they be used: and if you want to even tape a sex scene in LA County, you have to buy a permit which requires you to wear "protection", or face invasive raids from the Condom Police, stiff fines, and even jail time. Plus, those permits won't be cheap, because....well, we'll get to that soon.


4) Measure B makes clear that no public dollars will be spent to enforce condoms in porn. All of the costs will be carried by porn producers. Sex acts in your bedroom are a strictly private matter. When filming is done for money it is a public matter. Why should people or even animals that appear in Hollywood movies be protected and the young people who appear in porn be abused?

 No public dollars??  You mean, the money exercised by the County of Los Angeles from forcing producers of porn to pay for permits, insurance, and the salaries of government officials to inspect them for condoms is not "public dollars"???  Riiiiight..and the excise tax on cigarettes and tobacco isn't public, either?? Well...at least Weinstein didn't call porn producers "pornographers" here...or was that just a slip up??

"When filming is done for money, it is a public matter." But if it is done for free and no condom is used -- or if a condom is used and summarily breaks -- and HIV or some other STI is spread, it's none of our business, right?? Only the "pornographers" and the porn performers should be coerced to become guniea pigs for "safer sex" as a means of "role modeling" the rest of the impressionable public, I guess.

And..."young people who appear in porn be abused.."?? Yeah, because we all know all dem stoopid sluts can't be trusted to think and decide to enter porn for themselves...they must be "sex trafficked" in by those cigar-chomping, trenchcoat-wearing dirty old men with the 70's mustaches who trick them with candy and dreams of Hollywood success if only they'd just lie on that casting couch!!

Paging Shelley Lubben, me thinks??

5) The fact that many porn producers break the law and film without permits is not a good reason to do nothing to protect any performers or our community from disease.

Remember that before the City of Los Angeles passed their version of the condom mandate earlier this year, the only requirement for a permit was that you pay a fee to FilmLA, the board that supervises movie filming in the city. There actually was no requirement for condoms or any other form of protection....until AHF invented them for both the LA city law and Measure B. Also, the LA city law is still subject to legal challenges, pending the outcome of the county ordinance.

And, as for Weinstein and the pro-Measure B's concern for "our community"??  Well that is shown quite starkly in their current billboard campaign, as you can plainly see:



Yep. 

Never mind that they have used and exploited the experiences of "pornographers" like Darren James, Derrick Burts, and Shelley Lubben to promote their ordinance.

Never mind that they actually have gained some support from actual "pornographers" such as Brittany Andrews and Katja Kassin, as well as luminaries in the porn world who have been outspoken critics of both AIM and the FSC (such as Mike South and Gene Ross).

(And oh, by the way...you probably don't want someone like Monica Foster on your side, either.)

And...never mind that everyone from Republicans and Libertarians to even staunch Democrats and liberals have spoken out against this proposal, and that medical experts of all -- and no -- political persuasion(s) have seen the hypocrisy and counterproductiveness of Measure B.

Nope..in their mind, either you are with them, or you're with "the pornographers".

I'll simply let Dr. Chauntelle Tibalis of Porn Valley Vantage get the final word on this, because she says it so well:

Really? The “pornographers” say? That’s the game you’re gonna play, AHF? Reeeeally?

Thank you, AIDS Healthcare Foundation for shaming “pornographers” in this way.

Thank you, AIDS Healthcare Foundation for using donor funds – monies that I’m sure were given to your “own self-created social enterprises” under the auspices of working to “rid the world of AIDS” (quotes from AHF mission statement here) –  to shame “pornographers” in this way.

Because I know that’s what you’re doing!! I know what you’re really saying with this ad is “Eww look at these evil nasty people who say ‘No on B’ – pornographers!! Ewwwwwww!! They’re too gross and awful to know anything about what they know, and you don’t want to be associated with Them, do you?”

How dare you?

How dare you, an organization that claims to want to help so many oft-shamed-throughout-history and continuously marginalized communities, how dare you behave in this manner?

How dare you rely on stereotype, myth, and urban-legend horrors born from decades of speculation and misinformation about “pornographers”? How dare you engage those cultural fictions in such a manipulative manner? How dare you pass judgement on working, tax-paying members of LA County (and the human community as a whole)? How dare you dole out shame-by-proxy to everyone even obliquely associated with porn? How dare you?!!

You know what they say: you can talk shit when you’re perfect (or something like that)… and I’m far from perfect… so guess what I’m doing right now, AHF? Shaming you!! But I’m not gonna pull out stereotypes and slurs to do it. I’m just gonna call attention to the fact that I know what you’re up to.

Shame on you.
In.  FUCKING.  Deed.

Please, citizens of LA County....don't fall for this bullshit.  VOTE NO ON MEASURE B.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Lies, Damn Lies, Goddess Damn Lies...And The Campaign For Measure B...Now Venturing Into "Rescue Mission" Territory?? (Part 1)

The Really Big Lie campaign by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to pass Measure B -- the condom mandate in porn ordinance -- is now kicking into high gear, with the release of the sample ballots for the November 6th election to citizens of Los Angeles County. The sample ballot for Measure B, shall we say, is very revealing of the means to which proponents will resort to distortion and evasion, if not outright lie their asses off, in order to get their measure passed.

Steven St. Croix, whom has been one of the principled activists in opposition to Measure B, got his sample ballot last week, and ripped off a brilliant refutation and smackdown of the arguments used in favor of the measure. His breakdown is worthy of its own read; but there are some elements that deserve special attention. First, here's St. Croix's annotated version of the "Impartial Analysis" segment of the sample ballot:


First off...."impartial"???  From the same counsel that is promoting the ordinance?? Yeah, right.

Right off the bat, we see the first distortion (which St. Croix has annotated brilliantly): the notion that the full costs of enforcement of the ordinance will come exclusively from the forced permits imposed on the "pornographers" (more on that anon). This corresponds with the assertions of Michael Weinstein that no taxpayer money will be needed to enforce Measure B if it is passed, because it will all come out of the producers' hides with the permits forced on them. Problem is, those permits will have to fund the salaries and the activities of the investigators and "inspectors" who will be ensuring that porn shoots be wrapped up...and if it's going to be only fees from the permits funding the enforcement, then chances are that those fees will be through the roof..of the LA Coliseum.

Or: to quote directly the fact sheet from the anti-Measure B group Citizens Against Government Waste:

Film LA, Inc., the county film permitting agency, cites the cost of an average film permit as $625, but early estimates for Measure B permits by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health puts the costs as high as thousands of dollars per permit. The department estimates the initial startup costs to hire new inspectors, implement an inspection program and pay benefits at $300,000 with no idea of the program’s eventual costs.  Many production companies will either leave the county or simply go underground to avoid paying the fees, thereby necessitating the costs needed to develop an enforcement program to track down these productions.
And remember, Clones, that this measure would cover not just the big porn companies who shoot regularly in LA County, but could potentially affect anyone who does camshows or even runs her own website out of her private home. If you shoot any form of explicit sex, then you would be required to have the permit to shoot legally..and you would have to use condoms. Would you like to pay out your life's savings to AHF just to shoot a free condom commercial??

Of course, if no company bites on buying a permit and simply decides to either go rogue and risk fines and jail, or simply move their ops out of LA County, then the latter have a BIG problem of where to find the money to enforce the law. Which makes AHF's pledge not to attempt to issue a RTP for using their money and personnel to help enforce the mandate ring pretty hollow....especially since they have already commited to paying both LA County and the city of LA for all legal fees incured in defending the condom mandate law in court.

This other note of the "impartial analysis" struck me:

The Board of Supervisors reserves the right to amend in order to further the purposes of the measure.

So...does that mean that the LA County BoS can simply, at the first sign of AHF/CalOSHA bitching about not punishing the "pornographers" enough (or, if AHF needs to shake down more porn companies for money), alter the ordinance even further??  How...open ended of them.

But...that's the "impartial analysis". Far more fascinating and disturbing is the actual argument that AHF puts forth to promote Measure B. Again, I borrow from Stephen St. Croix's annotated reproduction.


Notice, if you will, among the signatories of this agitprop -- not including Mr. Weinstein, of course -- are some of the more schemier propagandists for enforcing condoms in porn. Mark McGrath, if you will remember, was the official who first came upon Derrick Burts after the latter soured on AIM, and who  basically presented his original "case" of getting infected in a gay male porn shoot to CalOSHA and the LA County Department of Public Health. Paula Tavrow is the UCLA professor whom has been the chief academic booster for the condom mandate, and whose department of Reproductive Health has been most responsible for those wonderful hearings where the likes of Shelley Lubben have been allowed free reign to bash about "Morals Clauses" and rampant HPV and HIV in porn and how young girls are being "forced" and "abused" by the "diseased" industry.

However, you may not know about the "Senator Retired" Richard Palanco. I'll just let Michael Whiteacre fill in those blanks for you (comment to this post over at Michael Fattorosi's AdultBizLaw.com blog):

As for Richard G. Polanco, in 1991, AHF opened the “Richard Polanco HIV Clinic” in Hollywood. He has authored or sponsored pro-AHF legislation throughout his political career.

Back in 2001, he was seen as the presumptive front-runner to succeed termed-out Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Hernandez, but he abruptly dropped out of the race under the shadow of scandal. 

”He plays dirty politics — the Katz race,“ says one political insider, alluding to Polanco’s sponsorship of a last-minute 1998 primary-campaign mailer slandering Assemblyman Richard Katz as anti-Latino on wholly fictional grounds. 

Polanco was heard on a tape recording saying, “I’ll spend whatever it takes to beat that Jew,” according to a source close to the Katz camp who knows Polanco and heard the tape. Roughly a week and a half after that comment was made, Polanco poured $186,000 into (now scandal-plagued) Richard Alarcon’s competing campaign, money which funded the infamous mailer.

”He’s slimy,“ says another insider, citing Polanco‘s role in hardball City Council contests in Lynwood and Commerce, involving the contracting of city-attorney posts to Polanco allies.

Polanco now has a lucrative career as a lobbyist. Earlier this year he, along with LA City Councilmembers Bill Rosendahl and Paul Koretz, spoke at AHF’s 25th anniversary ceremony.
That would be the same Bill Rosendahl and Paul Koretz who got paid with direct contributions from AHF, and who just so happen to be on the very committee who is now charged with enforcing LA's new condom mandate law. (Though, they have said that if the county-wide ordinance passes, they would alter the city law to reflect the tougher language of the county ordinance.)

But, here's where the fascination begins: Let's go to one paragraph of Weinstein's defense of AHF that speaks wonders:
It isn't fair to ask the general public to pick up the tab for irresponsibility of this industry. It isn't fair that people, and the community as a whole, are contracting infections, some of them life threatening and lifelong, in order to make a living. Pornographers should not be exempt from the basic safety rules that protect everyone else. Public health should not be sacrificed on the false claim that this is a free speech issue; this is a public health and safety issue.
Riiiiiight. Except that "pornographers" are NOT exempt from "basic safety rules that protect everyone else", since they are required to report any and all cases of infection of HIV and certain other STI's to the LACDPH. And, no one but Weinstein (and Lubben, and probably Gail Dines and other antiporn "feminists") would even have the gall to argue that STI's begin in the porn industry and then make their way to the general public, and that only condoms are the solution to contain, if not roll back, the pandemic of STI's and HIV.

After all, we don't fight against influenza, which can potentially kill far more people than HIV/AIDS ever has in real life, by mandating that all food workers wear rubber aprons, goggles, face masks, and face shields, or that anyone suffering from the common cold be forced to work with "barrier protection"..or even be forced to gulp down loads of Dayquil or Advil. And, I don't see any cries for forcing NFL players to wear ankle or knee braces to protect themselves from career-killing knee injuries, or legislation forcing said players to wear neck braces to prevent against concussions.

And BTW, Mr. Weinstein, if porn performers are to become "employees" as part of your plan to impose condoms as a condition of employment, that would mean that they would potentially become eligible for workers' comp and medical benefits....meaning that the California taxpayer actually WOULD ultimately pick up at least a bit of the tab for their activities...especially if they become infected anyway with HIV because they had no idea that their screen partner was infected because you did away with the testing regime that protected them, and then the condom by some chance broke.

In addition..the old "public safety trumps freedom of speech" card is an old tried and true canard that has been used by authoritarians everywhere since the Age of Ever to suppress and beat down those who challenge their attempts to impose their fascist rule on others. Including, I might add, gay men. When you channel the likes of Jerry Falwell and Bryan Fischer to promote your initiatives, you can't call yourself "progressive".

Oh, but that's just the appetizer...here's the paragraph that precedes that last one:

Porn producers claim that requiring condoms will be a financial hardship on their industry. However, the lifetime cost of treating an HIV infection is more than $567,000. Since these performers are not provided health insurance by porn producers, this cost is most likely to be borne by taxpayers of Los Angeles County, as health care provider of last resort. The taxpayers are subsidizing the porn business. On the other hand, 100% of all costs of the permits and inspections required by this initiative are covered by the pornographers.

No, Mr. Weinstein...requiring condoms is not the financial hardship here. Having the county force a condom mandate that would require them to produce video content that has been thoroughly rejected by the consuming public time and time again, and forcing them to pay what amounts to shakedown money to AHF for free condom placement ads, and turning performers into guniea pigs for "safer sex" at the expense of their creative autonomy and their ability to make a living?? THAT would be the hardship.

And, that $567K figure for a lifetime of treatment for HIV?? (Which Weinstein really isn't complaining about in the first place, since most of that is money in his pocket and more scare tactics and fear he can use to shame people into submission.) Using the true stats about how many straight performers (4 in the 2004 outbreak, NONE since then) have actually been infected from HIV from porn shoots, that figure would amout to a whopping.....<gasp>....$2,448,000 of taxpayer expense. In 2004. (And, in the years following to the present time. That's a whopping $306,000 per person.

Not cheap, buuuuuttttttt...

By contrast, in 2004 ALONE, according to stats from the California Dept. of Public Health, during the period from January 2004 to January 2005 there were 4,646 confirmed cases of HIV in LA County...which, if multiplied by the supposed average cost of treating one single HIV infected person quoted by Weinstein, would come out to...$2.63+ BILLION!! In Los Angeles County ALONE. For people infected with HIV IN A SINGLE YEAR....ALONE.

Yeah, that's some bit of subsidy....for AHF. For the porn industry, which has not seen even ONE single HIV infection since Darren James/Lara Roxx et. al.?? Meh. Not so much.

(BTW..I got the numbers for confirmed HIV cases by surfing the CA Dept. of Public Health statistics and subtracting the cumulative numbers of confirmed HIV infections  in LA County for the period ending January 2004 (chart here-pdf) from the cumulative numbers from January 2005 (chart here). Unlike Weinstein, I back up my numbers.)

BTW, as well...please note that I am NOT making any case against having public funding of treatment of HIV-infected people; in fact, as a single payer radical, I find it to be the moral and right thing to do. But, to use public funding of HIV treatment as a cash cow for your organization and oppose so rabidly vaccines and other alternatives of HIV/AIDS treatment, while simultaneously clucking about how "the pornographers" are using the taxpayers' dime to infect the society at large.....that is what you call real hubris. Or...just plain gall.

There is more to the Lies of the Measure B proponents, though...and that will be for my next post.

Vote NO on Measure B!!